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Partner Buyout of 2x Comp Can Be More Lucrative Than 3x Comp

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / October 5, 2015

QUESTION FROM A READER: In your interview of BKD MP Ted Dickman, he revealed that his firm’s partner buyout plan pays retiring equity partners 2x annual compensation paid out over 10 years. Our firm, with revenue of $10 million, pays 3x compensation. In the past five years we have retired two partners, each of whom…

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What Makes a Great CPA Firm Leader?

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / August 3, 2015

The following questions were posed to us recently in an interview with our colleagues at Convergence Coaching. Whose leadership style do I admire the most? The common thread to the three leaders below is this: Many people love the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” These leaders would say: “If it doesn’t need…

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What it Takes to Become Partner: Staff Kept in the Dark

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / March 23, 2015

A CPA firm manager writes: I am a 32 year-old manager at an 8-partner firm who has no clue what it takes to become a partner. The partners never share any information regarding buy-in, etc. It’s really hard to plan for the future without all the facts. Since the firm was created only one person…

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Small Firms Can Be Successful at Recruiting: Learn How

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / December 8, 2014

A frequent subject my Chicago-based small firm roundtable group has addressed over the years is the difficulty they have in recruiting staff with the talent and ambition to eventually take over their firms. At a recent meeting I posed this question in a deliberately provocative manner, as I sometimes do to elicit a spirited response,…

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How To Lead a Retreat Dedicated To Succession Planning

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / September 29, 2014

When as many as 80% of all CPA firms never make it to the second generation, you’d expect succession planning to be a hot agenda item at partner retreats. We always advise hiring an outside retreat facilitator to moderate your discussion, but in the event you’ve opted to have one of your partners lead the…

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Succession Planning Challenges for Young & Future Partners

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / September 11, 2014

Years ago a mentor told me that in negotiations, you should always put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Steven Covey’s legendary Seven Habits of Highly Effective People reiterated this in Habit 5:  “Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, who compels her to take an open mind to being influenced by…

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Young Partners Talk About Their Rise

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / May 19, 2014

At our recent Chicago Roundtable group, my guests were three young partners from local CPA firms:  Chris Bozarth from Weiss & Company, Michelle Prosecky of Pasquesi Shepard and Tom Keenan of Mowery & Schoenfeld.  All three firms are in the $5-10M revenue range, enjoy sparkling reputations in the Chicago community and would be considered highly…

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Practice Continuation Agreements – the succession solution for solos?

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / December 11, 2013

One of the sole practitioner’s many challenges is dealing with this question: “What happens to my practice if I die or become disabled?” This leads to our discussion on the wisdom of Practice Continuation Agreements (PCAs). These contracts provide for assistance in managing the solo’s practice and perhaps purchasing it in the event of the…

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CPA Firm Mentoring: How NOT to Develop Today’s Staff Into Tomorrow’s Partners

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / December 3, 2013

Many firms have outdated, macho views about staff becoming partners, as evidenced by comments like these we hear every now and then at partner retreats: “Staff either have it or they don’t.” “No one’s going to become a partner here until they march into my office and DEMAND it.” “Mentoring is a bunch of B.S….

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CPA Merger Mania: Why Aren’t We Jumping For Joy?

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / February 21, 2013

The baby boomer partners have had a great run, but it’s nearing its end. Retiring partners know they will have to merge upward to preserve their buyouts and provide continuity of service to their clients – and they dread the day. Many firms are merging, and even more are thinking about it. But they just can’t seem to pull the merger trigger. Why is this? Why aren’t we jumping for joy?

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